Time to keep it shut Harry

It wasn’t the wisest pre-match interview to give. Criticising the opposition in the build-up to any match is always ill-advised, but when the inflammatory comments come from a Tottenham manager ahead of a trip to Arsenal, you are asking for trouble.

In truth Harry Redknapp did not say anything particularly controversial – he, like the Premier League title betting odds, expect Chelsea or Manchester United to win the league, not the Gunners – but he should have been aware of what the headline writers would seize upon. The complimentary Arsenal comments were ignored.

‘Redknapp doubts Arsenal’s chances’ duly filled the front of the BBC sport web page, allowing as the cliché goes, the opposing manager to cut out and keep his own team talk. Arsene Wenger would have stuck the piece next to the one which detailed how Robbie Keane thinks the Spurs squad is stronger than the Arsenal one.

Having both the manager and captain fire-up your hated rivals ahead of a derby clash reveals a lack of judgment that needs to be addressed. There is a time and a place for inflammatory comments; the day before such a big Premier League game is not one of them.

Spurs of course lost the match due to shocking defending, but our manager should be media-savvy enough to know that his entertaining interviews need to better thought out. His (selective) straight talking is one of his charms, but it should be used to help the team, not hinder it.

Redknapp and Keane were simply trying to be bullish and Spurs fans will loathe the day that a Tottenham boss gushes over Arsenal, but this standing up to the Gunners needs to be done on the pitch as well as in the press room.

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